The Old Bachelor (Congreve)/Act V

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SCENE I.[edit]

SCENE: The Street.

Bellmour in fanatic habit, Setter, Heartwell, Lucy.

BELL. Setter! Well encountered.

SET. Joy of your return, sir. Have you made a good voyage? or have you brought your own lading back?

BELL. No, I have brought nothing but ballast back—made a delicious voyage, Setter; and might have rode at anchor in the port till this time, but the enemy surprised us—I would unrig.

SET. I attend you, sir.

BELL. Ha! Is it not that Heartwell at Sylvia’s door? Be gone quickly, I’ll follow you—I would not be known. Pox take ’em, they stand just in my way.

SCENE II.[edit]

Bellmour, Heartwell, Lucy.

HEART. I’m impatient till it be done.

LUCY. That may be, without troubling yourself to go again for your brother’s chaplain. Don’t you see that stalking form of godliness?

HEART. O ay; he’s a fanatic.

LUCY. An executioner qualified to do your business. He has been lawfully ordained.

HEART. I’ll pay him well, if you’ll break the matter to him.

LUCY. I warrant you.—Do you go and prepare your bride.

SCENE III.[edit]

Bellmour, Lucy.

BELL. Humph, sits the wind there? What a lucky rogue am I! Oh, what sport will be here, if I can persuade this wench to secrecy!

LUCY. Sir: reverend sir.

BELL. Madam. [Discovers himself.]

LUCY. Now, goodness have mercy upon me! Mr. Bellmour! is it you?

BELL. Even I. What dost think?

LUCY. Think! That I should not believe my eyes, and that you are not what you seem to be.

BELL. True. But to convince thee who I am, thou knowest my old token. [Kisses her.]

LUCY. Nay, Mr. Bellmour: O Lard! I believe you are a parson in good earnest, you kiss so devoutly.

BELL. Well, your business with me, Lucy?

LUCY. I had none, but through mistake.

BELL. Which mistake you must go through with, Lucy. Come, I know the intrigue between Heartwell and your mistress; and you mistook me for Tribulation Spintext, to marry ’em—Ha? are not matters in this posture? Confess: come, I’ll be faithful; I will, i’faith. What! diffide in me, Lucy?

LUCY. Alas-a-day! You and Mr. Vainlove, between you, have ruined my poor mistress: you have made a gap in her reputation; and can you blame her if she make it up with a husband?

BELL. Well, is it as I say?

LUCY. Well, it is then: but you’ll be secret?

BELL. Phuh, secret, ay. And to be out of thy debt, I’ll trust thee with another secret. Your mistress must not marry Heartwell, Lucy.

LUCY. How! O Lord!

BELL. Nay, don’t be in passion, Lucy:—I’ll provide a fitter husband for her. Come, here’s earnest of my good intentions for thee too; let this mollify. [Gives her money.] Look you, Heartwell is my friend; and though he be blind, I must not see him fall into the snare, and unwittingly marry a whore.

LUCY. Whore! I’d have you to know my mistress scorns—

BELL. Nay, nay: look you, Lucy; there are whores of as good quality. But to the purpose, if you will give me leave to acquaint you with it. Do you carry on the mistake of me: I’ll marry ’em. Nay, don’t pause; if you do, I’ll spoil all. I have some private reasons for what I do, which I’ll tell you within. In the meantime, I promise—and rely upon me—to help your mistress to a husband: nay, and thee too, Lucy. Here’s my hand, I will; with a fresh assurance. [Gives her more money.]

LUCY. Ah, the devil is not so cunning. You know my easy nature. Well, for once I’ll venture to serve you; but if you do deceive me, the curse of all kind, tender-hearted women light upon you!

BELL. That’s as much as to say, the pox take me. Well, lead on.

SCENE IV.[edit]

Vainlove, Sharper, and Setter.

SHARP. Just now, say you; gone in with Lucy?

SET. I saw him, sir, and stood at the corner where you found me, and overheard all they said: Mr. Bellmour is to marry ’em.

SHARP. Ha, ha; it will be a pleasant cheat. I’ll plague Heartwell when I see him. Prithee, Frank, let’s tease him; make him fret till he foam at the mouth, and disgorge his matrimonial oath with interest. Come, thou’rt musty—

SET. [To Sharper.] Sir, a word with you. [Whispers him.]

VAIN. Sharper swears she has forsworn the letter—I’m sure he tells me truth;—but I’m not sure she told him truth: yet she was unaffectedly concerned, he says, and often blushed with anger and surprise: and so I remember in the park. She had reason, if I wrong her. I begin to doubt.

SHARP. Say’st thou so?

SET. This afternoon, sir, about an hour before my master received the letter.

SHARP. In my conscience, like enough.

SET. Ay, I know her, sir; at least, I’m sure I can fish it out of her: she’s the very sluice to her lady’s secrets: ’tis but setting her mill agoing, and I can drain her of ’em all.

SHARP. Here, Frank, your bloodhound has made out the fault: this letter, that so sticks in thy maw, is counterfeit; only a trick of Sylvia in revenge, contrived by Lucy.

VAIN. Ha! It has a colour; but how do you know it, sirrah?

SET. I do suspect as much; because why, sir, she was pumping me about how your worship’s affairs stood towards Madam Araminta; as, when you had seen her last? when you were to see her next? and, where you were to be found at that time? and such like.

VAIN. And where did you tell her?

SET. In the Piazza.

VAIN. There I received the letter—it must be so—and why did you not find me out, to tell me this before, sot?

SET. Sir, I was pimping for Mr. Bellmour.

SHARP. You were well employed: I think there is no objection to the excuse.

VAIN. Pox of my saucy credulity—if I have lost her, I deserve it. But if confession and repentance be of force, I’ll win her, or weary her into a forgiveness.

SHARP. Methinks I long to see Bellmour come forth.

SCENE V.[edit]

Sharper, Bellmour, Setter.

SET. Talk of the devil: see where he comes.

SHARP. Hugging himself in his prosperous mischief—no real fanatic can look better pleased after a successful sermon of sedition.

BELL. Sharper! Fortify thy spleen: such a jest! Speak when thou art ready.

SHARP. Now, were I ill-natured would I utterly disappoint thy mirth: hear thee tell thy mighty jest with as much gravity as a bishop hears venereal causes in the spiritual court. Not so much as wrinkle my face with one smile; but let thee look simply, and laugh by thyself.

BELL. Pshaw, no; I have a better opinion of thy wit. Gad, I defy thee.

SHARP. Were it not loss of time you should make the experiment. But honest Setter, here, overheard you with Lucy, and has told me all.

BELL. Nay, then, I thank thee for not putting me out of countenance. But, to tell you something you don’t know. I got an opportunity after I had married ’em, of discovering the cheat to Sylvia. She took it at first, as another woman would the like disappointment; but my promise to make her amends quickly with another husband somewhat pacified her.

SHARP. But how the devil do you think to acquit yourself of your promise? Will you marry her yourself?

BELL. I have no such intentions at present. Prithee, wilt thou think a little for me? I am sure the ingenious Mr. Setter will assist.

SET. O Lord, sir!

BELL. I’ll leave him with you, and go shift my habit.

SCENE VI.[edit]

Sharper, Setter, Sir Joseph, and Bluffe.

SHARP. Heh! Sure fortune has sent this fool hither on purpose. Setter, stand close; seem not to observe ’em; and, hark ye. [Whispers.]

BLUFF. Fear him not. I am prepared for him now, and he shall find he might have safer roused a sleeping lion.

SIR JO. Hush, hush! don’t you see him?

BLUFF. Show him to me. Where is he?

SIR JO. Nay, don’t speak so loud. I don’t jest as I did a little while ago. Look yonder! Agad, if he should hear the lion roar, he’d cudgel him into an ass, and his primitive braying. Don’t you remember the story in Æsop’s Fables, bully? Agad, there are good morals to be picked out of Æsop’s Fables, let me tell you that, and Reynard the Fox too.

BLUFF. Damn your morals.

SIR JO. Prithee, don’t speak so loud.

BLUFF. Damn your morals; I must revenge the affront done to my honour. [In a low voice.]

SIR JO. Ay; do, do, captain, if you think fitting. You may dispose of your own flesh as you think fitting, d’ye see, but, by the Lord Harry, I’ll leave you. [Stealing away upon his tip-toes.]

BLUFF. Prodigious! What, will you forsake your friend in extremity? You can’t in honour refuse to carry him a challenge. [Almost whispering, and treading softly after him.]

SIR JO. Prithee, what do you see in my face that looks as if I would carry a challenge? Honour is your province, captain; take it. All the world know me to be a knight, and a man of worship.

SET. I warrant you, sir, I’m instructed.

SHARP. Impossible! Araminta take a liking to a fool? [Aloud.]

SET. Her head runs on nothing else, nor she can talk of nothing else.

SHARP. I know she commanded him all the while we were in the Park; but I thought it had been only to make Vainlove jealous.

SIR JO. How’s this! Good bully, hold your breath and let’s hearken. Agad, this must be I.

SHARP. Death, it can’t be. An oaf, an idiot, a wittal.

SIR JO. Ay, now it’s out; ’tis I, my own individual person.

SHARP. A wretch that has flown for shelter to the lowest shrub of mankind, and seeks protection from a blasted coward.

SIR JO. That’s you, bully back. [Bluffe frowns upon Sir Joseph.]

SHARP. She has given Vainlove her promise to marry him before to-morrow morning. Has she not? [To Setter.]

SET. She has, sir; and I have it in charge to attend her all this evening, in order to conduct her to the place appointed.

SHARP. Well, I’ll go and inform your master; and do you press her to make all the haste imaginable.

SCENE VII.[edit]

Setter, Sir Joseph, Bluffe.

SET. Were I a rogue now, what a noble prize could I dispose of! A goodly pinnace, richly laden, and to launch forth under my auspicious convoy. Twelve thousand pounds and all her rigging, besides what lies concealed under hatches. Ha! all this committed to my care! Avaunt, temptation! Setter, show thyself a person of worth; be true to thy trust, and be reputed honest. Reputed honest! Hum: is that all? Ay; for to be honest is nothing; the reputation of it is all. Reputation! what have such poor rogues as I to do with reputation? ’tis above us; and for men of quality, they are above it; so that reputation is even as foolish a thing as honesty. And, for my part, if I meet Sir Joseph with a purse of gold in his hand, I’ll dispose of mine to the best advantage.

SIR JO. Heh, heh, heh: Here ’tis for you, i’faith, Mr. Setter. Nay, I’ll take you at your word. [Chinking a purse.]

SET. Sir Joseph and the captain, too! undone! undone! I’m undone, my master’s undone, my lady’s undone, and all the business is undone.

SIR JO. No, no; never fear, man; the lady’s business shall be done. What, come, Mr. Setter, I have overheard all, and to speak is but loss of time; but if there be occasion, let these worthy gentlemen intercede for me. [Gives him gold.]

SET. O lord, sir, what d’ye mean? Corrupt my honesty? They have indeed very persuading faces. But—

SIR JO. ’Tis too little, there’s more, man. There, take all. Now—

SET. Well, Sir Joseph, you have such a winning way with you—

SIR JO. And how, and how, good Setter, did the little rogue look when she talked of Sir Joseph? Did not her eyes twinkle and her mouth water? Did not she pull up her little bubbies? And—agad, I’m so overjoyed—And stroke down her belly? and then step aside to tie her garter when she was thinking of her love? Heh, Setter!

SET. Oh, yes, sir.

SIR JO. How now, bully? What, melancholy because I’m in the lady’s favour? No matter, I’ll make your peace: I know they were a little smart upon you. But I warrant I’ll bring you into the lady’s good graces.

BLUFF. Pshaw, I have petitions to show from other-guess toys than she. Look here; these were sent me this morning. There, read. [Shows letters.] That—that’s a scrawl of quality. Here, here’s from a countess too. Hum—No, hold—that’s from a knight’s wife—she sent it me by her husband. But here, both these are from persons of great quality.

SIR JO. They are either from persons of great quality, or no quality at all, ’tis such a damned ugly hand. [While Sir Joseph reads, Bluffe whispers Setter.]

SET. Captain, I would do anything to serve you; but this is so difficult.

BLUFF. Not at all. Don’t I know him?

SET. You’ll remember the conditions?

BLUFF. I’ll give it you under my hand. In the meantime, here’s earnest. [Gives him money.] Come, knight, I’m capitulating with Mr. Setter for you.

SIR JO. Ah, honest Setter; sirrah, I’ll give thee anything but a night’s lodging.


Sharper tugging in Heartwell.

SHARP. Nay, prithee leave railing, and come along with me. May be she mayn’t be within. ’Tis but to yond corner-house.

HEART. Whither? Whither? Which corner-house.

SHARP. Why, there: the two white posts.

HEART. And who would you visit there, say you? (O’ons, how my heart aches.)

SHARP. Pshaw, thou’rt so troublesome and inquisitive. My, I’ll tell you; ’tis a young creature that Vainlove debauched and has forsaken. Did you never hear Bellmour chide him about Sylvia?

HEART. Death, and hell, and marriage! My wife! [Aside.]

SHARP. Why, thou art as musty as a new-married man that had found his wife knowing the first night.

HEART. Hell, and the Devil! Does he know it? But, hold; if he should not, I were a fool to discover it. I’ll dissemble, and try him. [Aside.] Ha, ha, ha. Why, Tom, is that such an occasion of melancholy? Is it such an uncommon mischief?

SHARP. No, faith; I believe not. Few women but have their year of probation before they are cloistered in the narrow joys of wedlock. But, prithee, come along with me or I’ll go and have the lady to myself. B’w’y George. [Going.]

HEART. O torture! How he racks and tears me! Death! Shall I own my shame or wittingly let him go and whore my wife? No, that’s insupportable. O Sharper!

SHARP. How now?

HEART. Oh, I am married.

SHARP. (Now hold, spleen.) Married!

HEART. Certainly, irrecoverably married.

SHARP. Heaven forbid, man! How long?

HEART. Oh, an age, an age! I have been married these two hours.

SHARP. My old bachelor married! That were a jest. Ha, ha, ha.

HEART. Death! D’ye mock me? Hark ye, if either you esteem my friendship, or your own safety—come not near that house—that corner-house—that hot brothel. Ask no questions.

SHARP. Mad, by this light.

Thus grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure: Married in haste, we may repent at leisure.

SCENE IX.[edit]

Sharper, Setter.

SET. Some by experience find these words misplaced: At leisure married, they repent in haste.

As I suppose my master Heartwell.

SHARP. Here again, my Mercury!

SET. Sublimate, if you please, sir: I think my achievements do deserve the epithet—Mercury was a pimp too, but, though I blush to own it, at this time, I must confess I am somewhat fallen from the dignity of my function, and do condescend to be scandalously employed in the promotion of vulgar matrimony.

SHARP. As how, dear, dexterous pimp?

SET. Why, to be brief, for I have weighty affairs depending—our stratagem succeeded as you intended—Bluffe turns errant traitor; bribes me to make a private conveyance of the lady to him, and put a shame-settlement upon Sir Joseph.

SHARP. O rogue! Well, but I hope—

SET. No, no; never fear me, sir. I privately informed the knight of the treachery, who has agreed seemingly to be cheated, that the captain may be so in reality.

SHARP. Where’s the bride?

SET. Shifting clothes for the purpose, at a friend’s house of mine. Here’s company coming; if you’ll walk this way, sir, I’ll tell you.

SCENE X.[edit]

Bellmour, Belinda, Araminta, and Vainlove.

VAIN. Oh, ’twas frenzy all: cannot you forgive it? Men in madness have a title to your pity. [To Araminta.]

ARAM. Which they forfeit, when they are restored to their senses.

VAIN. I am not presuming beyond a pardon.

ARAM. You who could reproach me with one counterfeit, how insolent would a real pardon make you! But there’s no need to forgive what is not worth my anger.

BELIN. O’ my conscience, I could find in my heart to marry thee, purely to be rid of thee—at least thou art so troublesome a lover, there’s hopes thou’lt make a more than ordinary quiet husband. [To Bellmour.]

BELL. Say you so? Is that a maxim among ye?

BELIN. Yes: you fluttering men of the mode have made marriage a mere French dish.

BELL. I hope there’s no French sauce. [Aside.]

BELIN. You are so curious in the preparation, that is, your courtship, one would think you meant a noble entertainment—but when we come to feed, ’tis all froth, and poor, but in show. Nay, often, only remains, which have been I know not how many times warmed for other company, and at last served up cold to the wife.

BELL. That were a miserable wretch indeed, who could not afford one warm dish for the wife of his bosom. But you timorous virgins form a dreadful chimæra of a husband, as of a creature contrary to that soft, humble, pliant, easy thing, a lover; so guess at plagues in matrimony, in opposition to the pleasures of courtship. Alas! courtship to marriage, is but as the music in the play-house, until the curtain’s drawn; but that once up, then opens the scene of pleasure.

BELIN. Oh, foh,—no: rather courtship to marriage, as a very witty prologue to a very dull play.

SCENE XI.[edit]

[To them] Sharper.

SHARP. Hist! Bellmour. If you’ll bring the ladies, make haste to Sylvia’s lodgings, before Heartwell has fretted himself out of breath.

BELL. You have an opportunity now, madam, to revenge yourself upon Heartwell, for affronting your squirrel. [To Belinda.]

BELIN. Oh, the filthy rude beast.

ARAM. ’Tis a lasting quarrel; I think he has never been at our house since.

BELL. But give yourselves the trouble to walk to that corner-house, and I’ll tell you by the way what may divert and surprise you.

SCENE XII.[edit]

SCENE: Sylvia’s Lodgings.

Heartwell and Boy.

HEART. Gone forth, say you, with her maid?

BOY. There was a man too, that fetched them out—Setter, I think they called him.

HEART. So-h—that precious pimp too—damned, damned strumpet! could she not contain herself on her wedding-day? not hold out till night? Oh, cursed state! how wide we err, when apprehensive of the load of life.

    We hope to find
    That help which Nature meant in womankind,
    To man that supplemental self-designed;
    But proves a burning caustic when applied,
    And Adam, sure, could with more ease abide
    The bone when broken, than when made a bride.


[To him] Bellmour, Belinda, Vainlove, Araminta.

BELL. Now George, what, rhyming! I thought the chimes of verse were past, when once the doleful marriage-knell was rung.

HEART. Shame and confusion, I am exposed. [Vainlove and Araminta talk apart.]

BELIN. Joy, joy, Mr. Bridegroom; I give you joy, sir.

HEART. ’Tis not in thy nature to give me joy. A woman can as soon give immortality.

BELIN. Ha, ha, ha! oh Gad, men grow such clowns when they are married.

BELL. That they are fit for no company but their wives.

BELIN. Nor for them neither, in a little time. I swear, at the month’s end, you shall hardly find a married man that will do a civil thing to his wife, or say a civil thing to anybody else. How he looks already, ha, ha, ha.

BELL. Ha, ha, ha!

HEART. Death, am I made your laughing-stock? For you, sir, I shall find a time; but take off your wasp here, or the clown may grow boisterous; I have a fly-flap.

BELIN. You have occasion for’t, your wife has been blown upon.

BELL. That’s home.

HEART. Not fiends or furies could have added to my vexation, or anything, but another woman. You’ve racked my patience; begone, or by—

BELL. Hold, hold. What the devil—thou wilt not draw upon a woman?

VAIN. What’s the matter?

ARAM. Bless me! what have you done to him?

BELIN. Only touched a galled beast until he winced.

VAIN. Bellmour, give it over; you vex him too much. ’Tis all serious to him.

BELIN. Nay, I swear, I begin to pity him myself.

HEART. Damn your pity!—but let me be calm a little. How have I deserved this of you? any of ye? Sir, have I impaired the honour of your house, promised your sister marriage, and whored her? Wherein have I injured you? Did I bring a physician to your father when he lay expiring, and endeavour to prolong his life, and you one and twenty? Madam, have I had an opportunity with you and baulked it? Did you ever offer me the favour that I refused it? Or—

BELIN. Oh foh! what does the filthy fellow mean? Lord, let me be gone.

ARAM. Hang me, if I pity you; you are right enough served.

BELL. This is a little scurrilous though.

VAIN. Nay, ’tis a sore of your own scratching—well, George?

HEART. You are the principal cause of all my present ills. If Sylvia had not been your mistress, my wife might have been honest.

VAIN. And if Sylvia had not been your wife, my mistress might have been just. There, we are even. But have a good heart, I heard of your misfortune, and come to your relief.

HEART. When execution’s over, you offer a reprieve.

VAIN. What would you give?

HEART. Oh! Anything, everything, a leg or two, or an arm; nay, I would be divorced from my virility to be divorced from my wife.

SCENE XIV.[edit]

[To them] Sharper.

VAIN. Faith, that’s a sure way: but here’s one can sell you freedom better cheap.

SHARP. Vainlove, I have been a kind of a godfather to you yonder. I have promised and vowed some things in your name which I think you are bound to perform.

VAIN. No signing to a blank, friend.

SHARP. No, I’ll deal fairly with you. ’Tis a full and free discharge to Sir Joseph Wittal and Captain Bluffe; for all injuries whatsoever, done unto you by them, until the present date hereof. How say you?

VAIN. Agreed.

SHARP. Then, let me beg these ladies to wear their masks, a moment. Come in, gentlemen and ladies.

HEART. What the devil’s all this to me?

VAIN. Patience.

SCENE the Last[edit]

[To them] Sir Joseph, Bluffe, Sylvia, Lucy, Setter.

BLUFF. All injuries whatsoever, Mr. Sharper.

SIR JO. Ay, ay, whatsoever, Captain, stick to that; whatsoever.

SHARP. ’Tis done, these gentlemen are witnesses to the general release.

VAIN. Ay, ay, to this instant moment. I have passed an act of oblivion.

BLUFF. ’Tis very generous, sir, since I needs must own—

SIR JO. No, no, Captain, you need not own, heh, heh, heh. ’Tis I must own—

BLUFF.—That you are over-reached too, ha, ha, ha, only a little art military used—only undermined, or so, as shall appear by the fair Araminta, my wife’s permission. Oh, the devil, cheated at last! [Lucy unmasks.]

SIR JO. Only a little art-military trick, captain, only countermined, or so. Mr. Vainlove, I suppose you know whom I have got—now, but all’s forgiven.

VAIN. I know whom you have not got; pray ladies convince him. [Aram. and Belin. unmask.]

SIR JO. Ah! oh Lord, my heart aches. Ah! Setter, a rogue of all sides.

SHARP. Sir Joseph, you had better have pre-engaged this gentleman’s pardon: for though Vainlove be so generous to forgive the loss of his mistress, I know not how Heartwell may take the loss of his wife. [Sylvia unmasks.]

HEART. My wife! By this light ’tis she, the very cockatrice. O Sharper! Let me embrace thee. But art thou sure she is really married to him?

SET. Really and lawfully married, I am witness.

SHARP. Bellmour will unriddle to you. [Heartwell goes to Bellmour.]

SIR JO. Pray, madam, who are you? For I find you and I are like to be better acquainted.

SYLV. The worst of me is, that I am your wife—

SHARP. Come, Sir Joseph, your fortune is not so bad as you fear. A fine lady, and a lady of very good quality.

SIR JO. Thanks to my knighthood, she’s a lady—

VAIN. That deserves a fool with a better title. Pray use her as my relation, or you shall hear on’t.

BLUFF. What, are you a woman of quality too, spouse?

SET. And my relation; pray let her be respected accordingly. Well, honest Lucy, fare thee well. I think, you and I have been play-fellows off and on, any time this seven years.

LUCY. Hold your prating. I’m thinking what vocation I shall follow while my spouse is planting laurels in the wars.

BLUFF. No more wars, spouse, no more wars. While I plant laurels for my head abroad, I may find the branches sprout at home.

HEART. Bellmour, I approve thy mirth, and thank thee. And I cannot in gratitude (for I see which way thou art going) see thee fall into the same snare out of which thou hast delivered me.

BELL. I thank thee, George, for thy good intention; but there is a fatality in marriage, for I find I’m resolute.

HEART. Then good counsel will be thrown away upon you. For my part, I have once escaped; and when I wed again, may she be—ugly, as an old bawd.

VAIN. Ill-natured, as an old maid—

BELL. Wanton, as a young widow—

SHARP. And jealous, as a barren wife.

HEART. Agreed.

BELL. Well; ’midst of these dreadful denunciations, and notwithstanding the warning and example before me, I commit myself to lasting durance.

BELIN. Prisoner, make much of your fetters. [Giving her hand.]

BELL. Frank, will you keep us in countenance?

VAIN. May I presume to hope so great a blessing?

ARAM. We had better take the advantage of a little of our friend’s experience first.

BELL. O’ my conscience she dares not consent, for fear he should recant. [Aside.] Well, we shall have your company to church in the morning. May be it may get you an appetite to see us fall to before you. Setter, did not you tell me?—

SET. They’re at the door: I’ll call ’em in.


BELL. Now set we forward on a journey for life. Come take your fellow-travellers. Old George, I’m sorry to see thee still plod on alone.

HEART. With gaudy plumes and jingling bells made proud,
The youthful beast sets forth, and neighs aloud.
A morning-sun his tinselled harness gilds,
And the first stage a down-hill greensward yields.
But, oh—
What rugged ways attend the noon of life!
Our sun declines, and with what anxious strife,
What pain we tug that galling load, a wife.
All coursers the first heat with vigour run;
But ’tis with whip and spur the race is won.

[Exeunt Omnes.]